Individual -Huffman Trucking Internal Marketing Culture Plan and Defense
Using the Problem Solution Template, develop a 3,500-4,200 word paper in which you propose a solution to help Huffman Trucking develop a comprehensive plan for an internal marketing culture. Remember that your solution needs to focus on the concepts covered in the course (see the mind maps in Weeks 4 through 6 your rEsourceSM course page). Be sure to incorporate appropriate citations from your readings and research.
NOTE: The word count does not include the tables.
Problem Solution: Huffman Trucking
Companies that hope to weather changes in the market successfully must learn to use internal marketing effectively. The essence of internal marketing requires an organization to fulfill the needs of its employees so they can fulfill the needs of customers. Internal marketing is a management strategy that uses the bottom-up channel, where employees have the means and motivation to communicate with management, sharing their concerns about changes facing the business, supplying relevant feedback from the customers they serve daily, and presenting ideas on how to ease the transition and improve customer service. A key element of understanding and fulfilling employee needs and connecting them to customer needs is an examination of the company's organizational culture (Stershic, 1994).
Culture is the set of key values, guiding beliefs, and understandings that people in an organization share. The culture informs new employees of the appropriate ways to think and act. It is people's attitudes, feelings, and the overall chemistry which originate from the work environment that determine the nature of an organization's culture. An understanding of the organization's culture is critical to designing internal marketing strategies. Business leaders can use their organizational culture as a tool to stimulate individual performance and create long-term relationships with their internal customers, their employees (Mitchell & Taylor, 2004). To use this powerful tool for business success effectively, business leaders must first analyze their existing organizational culture to determine whether it is compatible with their organization's objectives (Stershic, 1990). They can then proceed to address any gaps, aligning marketing efforts with the organizational culture in a measurable plan for continued growth that includes engaging the whole organization in continuously bringing better value to customers keeping pace with evolving customer needs. A case in point is Huffman Trucking.
Huffman Trucking is a company that has been unable to pull ahead of its competition. Phil Huffman, the company CEO, is frustrated by this and would like to implement customer-centricity as a way to help boost his company's growth to the next level. Customer-centricity requires that the company place the customer at its center, and consider the impact on the customer when making major business decisions.
Issue and Opportunity Identification
Huffman Trucking faces several issues that are affecting its competitive capability in the market. The company can turn these issues to corresponding opportunities if it applies the appropriate marketing principles.
One issue is that Huffman Trucking lacks an internal marketing culture. An internal marketing culture can better satisfy customer needs. The term 'internal marketing' means using the general principles of marketing to achieve an optimal internal company culture that will result in a company becoming more marketing and customer orientated. This culture will ideally be one where everyone works cooperatively to achieve the company's marketing goals especially the overall goal of creating and communicating more customer value (Kotler & Keller, 2006, p.697). Huffman Trucking can view this issue as an opportunity to discover and satisfy customer needs and build an internal marketing culture around those needs.
Another issue for Huffman Trucking is that the company is a traditional organization that responds to market changes too slowly. Some trends in internal marketing are flattening, accelerating, and empowering. Flattening is cutting down the number of organizational levels so that everyone in the company has the opportunity to positively impact the customer. Accelerating is organizational design and processes that enable the company to respond more quickly to changes in the environment. Empowering is encouraging and empowering employees to come up with innovative ideas to increase customer value and take the initiative to act on behalf of the customer (Kotler & Keller, 2006, p.697). This issue represents an opportunity for Huffman Trucking to flatten its organization, empower its employees and accelerate its organizational design and processes to enable the company to respond more quickly to changes in the environment.
An additional issue that concerns Huffman Trucking is that the company has not adopted socially responsible marketing. Social responsibility is important to retaining both employees and customers. More and more people want to be informed about a company's record on social and environmental responsibility before they decide to buy from, invest in, or work for that company. The most admired companies in the world, that are also very often the most successful, are those that are dedicated to serving the interests of others versus only their own (Kotler & Keller, 2006, p.706-707). Here Huffman Trucking has the opportunity to implement socially responsible marketing and build a positive reputation for serving the interests of its internal and external customers.
A particularly complex issue facing Huffman Trucking is that the company has only recently become aware of the differences between marketing services versus products and how consumers purchase services. Services have four characteristics that set them apart from products and thus significantly impact the design of marketing programs. These are intangibility, inseparability, variability, and perishability. Unlike physical products, services cannot be seen, tasted, felt, heard, or smelled before they are bought. This makes them intangible. Services are usually performed and consumed at the same time. The provider is part of the service by virtue of rendering the service. Because the customer is also there as the service is performed the provider cannot be separated from the client. This inseparable interaction between the customer and the service provider is a special feature of services marketing. Services are highly variable. This is because they depend on who renders them and when and where they are rendered. Services cannot be stored and thus are considered perishable when demand for them fluctuates as it often does. (Kotler & Keller, 2006, p.405-407). Huffman Trucking has the opportunity to structure and market its service offerings around the needs of service consumers.
The final issue facing Huffman Trucking is that the company has not managed its service quality effectively. In recent years concerns about increasing and stabilizing service quality have resulted in a keen awareness of the crucial role that frontline employees play in providing excellent service to customers. These employees are in direct personal contact with their company's customers on a daily basis while providing them with company services. Internal marketing strategies which deal with motivating these employees therefore play a sizeable role in producing higher levels of employee performance. To enhance service quality, service marketers must view employees as another group of customers who must be examined using established marketing techniques. A key element of this examination is a company's organizational culture (Wasmer & Bruner, 1991). Huffman Trucking has the opportunity to serve the needs of its employees so they can in turn serve the needs of its customers.
Stakeholder Perspectives/Ethical Dilemmas
There are several groups of stakeholders at Huffman Trucking. In general these groups are all working toward the same goals and although their values do not always conflict they do differ in their details.
The first group is the upper management at Huffman Trucking. This group is concerned with growing the company through introducing customer-centric marketing changes. Members of this group have the right to make business decisions. This can bring them into conflict with employees if the decisions they make do not empower employees to do the best job for the company.
Another group at Huffman Trucking is the employees of the company. Members of this group are concerned with both personal and professional growth and have the right to be given the hard and soft tools and the clear direction they need to do their jobs. Members of this group do not have the right to make business decisions, but do have the right to participate in improving customer value and to reap the rewards of company success.
The customers at Huffman Trucking comprise another important stakeholder group at the company. This group expects Huffman Trucking to know their needs and fulfill them with honesty, integrity and diligence. Their interests encompass accountability, fairness, respect, integrity, and honesty. They have the right to expect that their needs will direct Huffman's business policies.
Huffman Trucking has the opportunity to build an internal marketing culture around the needs of its internal and external customers, and flatten its organization, empower its employees and accelerate its organizational design and processes to enable the company to service and respond to changes in those needs quickly and efficiently.
The employees and management at Huffman Trucking are working together as a team and have achieved an internal marketing culture that has accelerated the company's growth rate well past those of its competitors. The company's employees are the most highly motivated in the industry and its customers are the best served and most loyal.
This vision can be broken down into the following specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely goals.
? Teamwork skills have improved 89% according to employee job satisfaction surveys.
? Customer relationships have improved as evidenced through 100% customer retention rate over the year since the new customer-centric culture was implemented
? Customer satisfaction is at 95% in customer satisfaction surveys.
? The customer base has grown by 25% in one year since the implementation of the customer-centric model.
? Revenues have increased by 7% annually
Alternative 1 is to implement an employee intrinsic rewards that recognize both individual and team efforts and achievements publicly. The benchmarked company, Sunmark Federal Credit Union measurably improved its service quality through employee motivation. The credit union hired Vice President of Sales, Tom Widl, to help the organization build a sales and service culture. Widl managed to do so successfully after learning some key points about reward programs from employee-performance expert Aubrey Daniels. He created incentives for credit union employees that were centered on excellent service which would directly benefit Sunmark's 46,295 members, as well as its employees and management. Widl created an employee rewards program that ranged from donuts on Friday, self-study programs, and education reimbursements, to distributing toy school buses that ...
This is a comprehensive internal marketing culture plan for Huffman Trucking, a fictitious company, in MMPBL580.